As a country, we have reached a point that we need a “Saviour” to redeem us from our political division that may destroy us one day.
If that “Saviour” comes, we may have to do what the Scripture said, “in that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Saviour and a Champion, and He will deliver them-” (Isaiah 19-20).
The expected “Saviour” is not going to save us from any oppressors, but from ourselves – because we need someone who can put the country together. In fact, as it is said in the streets, “like joke, like joke,” political division will one day become the fire to consume us. It is sad that the politicians are not taking note of it.
When God finally sends down that saviour, may be like the Israelites, Ghanaians will build an altar to remind us that when we cried to Him, He heard us and sent a deliverer. But when will this be? Whereas it is every Ghanaian’s right to live in peace, work and enjoy all that the country can offer, we have created a system that anytime there is a political change of power, those who belong to the losing side become less Ghanaian. As a result, some people have lost jobs and contracts not because of their incompetence but because of the political party they support. The politicians have encouraged this and it is sad that the ordinary people have bought into it by going to report people to be “dealt with” because they belong to a different political party.
From every indication, prayers alone will not solve this particular problem because the political division is so deep that, what we need now is someone sent by God to take the country through some form of deliverance to take away all the hates and intrigues that have rendered us unable to live at peace with each other.
Part of the problem has to do with the slow nature of the administration of justice. This has allowed so many people who should have been punished for creating hatred in the name of fighting for their political parties, to remain untouched.
My friend Lydia Awoyemi is a very funny person. From her Port Harcourt hideout in Nigeria, she has always mocked the slow nature of the Nigerian legal system. The latest of her gags is that, the Nigerian government ordered that every goat must be arrested. When the antelope heard about this, he decided to run away from town. On his way, he met the elephant, who asked antelope why he was running, and he answered that, the government was looking for goats to arrest. “You are not a goat,” a surprised elephant shot back at him. But antelope, who was not ready to take chances, kept running and then, shouted back, “In Nigeria, it would take me over twenty years to prove that l am not a goat.” When elephant heard this, he also started running.
Our case is not different. That is why, even though several political activists who breached the law have been arrested, whether or not they have been properly dealt with is another matter. The cases are either in court or have been glossed over.
Some people will blame it on how slowly the legal system grinds. Unfortunately, it has hardened some of the country’s political activists to go against the law in the name of fighting for their parties. Some media outlets reported last week that, political activists had gone on the rampage because people outside their party had been awarded contracts. So, politics must divide the country into camps, with one group never enjoying anything because of their inclinations.
In the real sense of it, what divides political parties is ideology on how to develop. All the parties want to bring about development and this is based on their world outlook. Unfortunately for us in Ghana, though the parties talk about ideology based on right and left of the political spectrum, it looks like their supporters do not even understand what this means. I have asked a few people in the streets, why they support the various parties and the response was very amusing.
One person said, “I like the National Democratic Congress (NDC) because they don’t tell lies, whereas the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is always misleading Ghanaians.” When l asked him to give an example of the lies, he said, the NPP under former President Kufuor came to power with the promise to lower the price of fuel but ended up increasing it. Because of this, this fellow will never trust the NPP. Another said, “I am an Ashanti and l would not follow the NDC because it is full of Ewes.” I found this funny and when l asked him to give examples, he simply said, “that is what my cousin told me.” If this is the mind-set of people who follow the parties, then, we are in trouble.
What this means is that, the political activists do not understand what their parties stand for. Therefore, they go along with the promises made to them during the campaign that their lives would be improved. Those who want to use political patronage to make money use the activists to fight their causes. It is no secret that some of the “take-over” of offices were done with the tacit support of some officials of the parties. That is to say, if someone who had expected to become the District Chief Executive is by-passed, all they do is to use a few young people, whose support they enjoy, to create trouble.
Knowing that if the government in power touches these trouble makers, it would be taken by the grassroots supporters to mean that the government is against its own party supporters, and then this would affect their votes in the next election, there is always official silence. The police are reluctant to take action because they fear repercussions and so look the other way. It is only when a face-saving government calls for action that the police make arrests. When the case goes to court, the judges, also not sure of what to do, keep postponing the trial.
For this reason, there are some people who have decided that they would not apply for jobs because of the political colours they have exhibited. For those who are in employment, many have suffered for their political colours, real or perceived. Much as we need to condemn the way public officials exhibit their political powers, there is also the need to admonish the politicians too, because they are the people who should lead the fight against the political division that has been created.
In fact, when one contractor is unemployed not because he cannot perform, but because of political affiliation, it affects many households the same way that when a public or civil servant is sent home because he belongs to a different political colour, it destroys homes and the future of many dependants. In the end, the hate continues because the people affected only remember those who created their horrible situation.
It means that for a long time, there are going to be people who will never forgive those who reduced them to nothing. Over a period, this hate will lead to something sinister. The politicians must know that by their actions, they have set fire to the roof over the country and gone to sleep. It may consume all of us one day!
- Whereas it is every Ghanaian’s right to live in peace, work and enjoy all that the country can offer, we have created a system that anytime there is a political change of power, those who belong to the losing side become less Ghanaian. As a result, some people have lost jobs and contracts not because of their incompetence but because of the political party they support.
- Those who want to use political patronage to make money use the activists to fight their causes. It is no secret that some of the “take-over” of offices were done with the tacit support of some officials of the parties. That is to say, if someone who had expected to become the District Chief Executive is by-passed, all they do is to use a few young people, whose support they enjoy, to create trouble.
Perspectives with Francis Kokutse